Coming into this season, Panther Valley wrestling coach Tim Robb thought his team was one year away from making some serious noise. After the Panthers performance on Saturday afternoon at the Jim Thorpe Duals he might just have to change his outlook.
Panther Valley went 4-1 on the day, finishing second, losing only to Cedar Cliff 47-23 in the championship round.
"I came into this season thinking we were one year away from being really good, but these guys are starting to make me think differently," said Robb. "There's just a different dynamic in our wrestling room right now. Our guys don't believe they're one year away at all and from top to bottom have worked extremely hard throughout the off-season."
Panther Valley's four wins came over Coatesville 51-15, Jim Thorpe 48-30, Pottstown 36-33, and Upper Dauphin 46-18.
The Panthers also had some strong individual performances on the day.
113-pounder Lenny Ogozalek finished 5-0, 195-pounder Richard Nase (5-0) also came home without a blemish, and 285-pound grappler Rian Shubeck also went undefeated on the day. Although Ogozalek, Nase, and Shubeck were the top performers coach Robb can't really single out any one individual. Darren Goida (106), Dylan Moyer (170) and Rich Smith (220) also had strong tournament performances, all of them going 4-1.
"We had some guys go undefeated on the day, but all these guys really wrestled well and did their part," said Robb. "All of them spent a lot of time at our local wrestling club and like I said before the energy in our room right now is just great. We had a guy like Darren Goida step in at 106 making weight and that helped us win some matches. Lenny Ogozalek also got a big win for us late in our match against Pottstown, beating a kid that was a District 1 Champion last year. It really was a complete team effort."
Jim Thorpe improved on its performance from last season earning a victory pver Coatesville by a score of 56-27.
The Olympians placed eighth, with Ali Copobianco (120) going 5-0 and Brian Ohl (145-152) also finishing 5-0. Kyle Morales (126) and Nickl Pale (132) turned in solid efforts going 4-1 on the day.
"We had a much better duals than we had last year and some kids really stepped up for us today," said Jim Thorpe coach Shawn Albert. "As a team we got our first win today, which is one more than we had last year at this point. We just need to continue to grow as a team and keep our composure. That's the stage we're at right now in this program and we just need to continue to get better."
106 - Darren Goida 4-1, 113 - Lenny Ogozalek 5-0, 120 - Michael Lazar 2-3, 126 - Seth Oriel 2-3, 132 - Zachary Glassic 3-2, 138 - Hunter Davidyock 3-2, 145 - Elijah Hibbler 1-4, 152 - Jared Eickhoff 2-3, 170 - Dylan Moyer 4-1, 182 - Matt Buss 3-2, 195 - Richard Nase 5-0, 220 - Rich Smith 4-1, 285 - Rian Shubeck 5-0.
Round One: Panther Valley 51, Coatesville 15
Round Two: Panther Valley 48, Jim Thorpe 30
Round Three: Panther Valley 36, Pottstown 33
Round Four: Panther Valley 46, Upper Dauphin 18
Round Five: Cedar Cliff 47, Panther Valley 23
106 - Kevan Gentile 2-3, 113 - John Condly 1-4, 120 - Ali Capobianco 5-0, 126 - Kyle Morales 4-1, 132 - Nick Pale 4 -1, 138 - Avery Zigenfus 0-3, 138/145 - Pollux Fisher 1-3, 152/145 - Brian Ohl 5-0, 160 - Fabian Torres 1-4, 170 - Deryk Gibbon 1-4, 182 - Mike Munoz 0-5, 182/195 - Tyler Andrew 1-2, 195/220 - Jedidiah Scorzelli 2-3, 285 - Ryan Ruberto 3-2.
Round One: Panther Valley 48, Jim Thorpe 30,
Round Two: Jim Thorpe 56, Coatesville 27
Round Three: Upper Dauphin 48, Jim Thorpe 18,
Round Four: Pottstown 54, Jim Thorpe 30,
Round Five: North Schuylkill 45, Jim Thorpe 30,